Simon Mainwaring is one of the world’s leading authorities on Brand Storytelling, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability Storytelling, Foundation Storytelling, Social Media, Community Architecture, Brand Innovation, and Cultural Leadership. He keynotes for corporations, conferences, and institutions around the world. To book Simon for speaking, email: Mike@Speaking.com
How Purpose Builds Profit
How brands use social media to build their business, profits and positive impact.
The Future of Storytelling
The future of social business, branding and consumer engagement.
How the private sector uses social technology to scale social change.
Humanizing Your Brand
Strategic storytelling and the humanity of your brand.
Customer Community Architecture
The Art and Architecture of Customer Community Building.
Purposeful Brand Storytelling
Integration of sustainability, cause marketing and foundation efforts.
Today’s marketplace is being transformed by the impact of social technology and media that are reinventing business models, profit centers and customer service. Yet this same challenge represents an incredible opportunity to build profits and positive impact. To do this brands must clearly define their purpose, core values and story in a community-facing way that will resonate on an emotional level with their customers and inspire them to share that story using social media channels.
Simon explains exactly how companies achieve this and what tools, tactics, and strategies best enable them to architect a customer community that will build their business with them. He reveals step-by-step how brands build on the best practices and case studies of the world smartest marketers to create and maintain a competitive advantage using emerging social technology. It is through this powerful marriage of purposeful brand storytelling and social media fluency that brands not only connect with today’s customers, but also inspire them to use social media to raise brand awareness, profits and have a positive impact in our world.
What You Will Learn:
- How your brand defines its purpose, core values and vision.
- How your brand frames that story to build a self-sustaining customer community.
- How your brand engages those customers across multiple social media channels to generate awareness, profits and word of mouth advertising.
- How your brand maintains its competitive advantage in the face of fast changing social technology.
Social technologies are reinventing the way brands market, engage their customers and build brand awareness. Simon reveals the key economic drivers, consumer insights and social technologies that will determine the business leaders of our future. Simon demystifies how brands use multi-channel social marketing to become effective storytellers, community architects and profitable agents of change. He explains how companies re-organize leadership, employees and customer service to best position themselves for success ahead of their competitors. The topic is not just critical to brands seeking to profit from the social business marketplace but also seeking to retain their advantage over the long-term.
What You Will Learn:
- What social business means for leadership, organizational structure and customer service.
- What social technologies means for corporate marketing and how to best position your brand for bottom line success.
- The most effective tools, tactics and strategies to build a customer community based on best practices, case studies and ROI.
- Emerging social technology trends that will ensure your brand retains and grows its customer community and profits.
In the face of a tough economy, fast-changing social media and multiple global social crises, Simon provides a vision for a re-purposed private sector that makes sustainable and scalable social change possible. He lays out a roadmap for how the private sector serves as a third pillar of social change to aid government and philanthropy. This vision has three key components that include a partnership between brands and consumers aligned around shared values and connected by social media, the exercise of contributory consumption across retail, mobile, online, credit card and virtual goods transactions, and the establishment of a federation of brands called the Global Brand Initiative that brings the best of the private sector to bear on the social change space. In doing so, Simon explains how companies create a better world and offers practical and actionable steps that allow brands to play a meaningful role in customers’ lives so they reward them with loyalty, goodwill and profits.
What You Will Learn:
- The latest global business imperatives that necessitate a fresh practice of capitalism.
- The three-step plan through which the private sector massively scales contribution to help solve multiple global crises.
- The architecture and dynamics of a new relationship between brands and their customers that build profit and positive social impact.
- Actionable steps that brands can take to participate based on real world examples and best practices of the world biggest brands.
As marketers find themselves communicating within an intimately connected and mutually dependent global community, they are quickly rising to the new challenge of becoming more meaningful and relevant to the lives of media-savvy customers. As a result, we are witnessing a global “brand grab” for ownership of the fundamental properties of being human. Whether it’s Coke and ‘Happiness’, Starbucks and ‘Shared’ or IBM and ‘Smarter’, such strategic positioning and storytelling empowers companies to be both local and global, to scale intimacy and to leverage social and mobile tools in ways that allow them to keep in contact with their customers. The challenge is how you define, frame and share your brand story to establish a competitive advantage and inspire employees and customers to build your business with you at a local and global level.
What You Will Learn:
- How the smartest marketers in the world are defining their brands to position themselves for global leadership.
- Case studies of the most effective internal and external storytelling that builds a corporate culture and customer communities.
- Strategies and tactics for how to bring the humanity of your brand to life for all key stakeholders.
- How a brand transcends marketing to become a mainstay of popular culture.
While many companies and their marketers are very familiar with the tactics and tools of social marketing, few understand the architecture of effective community building that drives long and short-term profits. It’s this architecture that ensures companies enjoy reputation and tactical benefits and inspires consumers to promote a company with them. It’s this architecture that will determine which brands survive and thrive in an increasingly connected, real-time and consumer activist marketplace.
What You Will Learn:
- How the smartest marketers in the world define, frame and share their brand stories to build self-sustaining customer communities.
- How to rationalize strategic storytelling and social marketing to generate reputation and sales benefits.
- How to build and maintain your customer community and industry leadership in the face of growing customer expectations and a fast changing social business marketplace.
As a function of the hierarchical structure of many corporations, their purposeful efforts are fractured across different divisions and marketing roles. This robs the companies of reputation benefits and splinters the brand messaging making the marketing spend less effective and diluting consumer loyalty and goodwill. Properly aligned, these disparate efforts can reinforce the brand’s for-profit narrative and be seamlessly integrated to reflect the core values of the brand. This process is critical for companies seeking to build brand affinity and get bottom line benefits for their social impact work.
What You Will Learn:
- How the world’s top brands are deconstructing their hierarchical organizational structures and positioning themselves for future growth.
- How the smartest marketers are defining and sharing their brand stories in ways that integrate sustainability, cause marketing and Foundation efforts.
- Strategies and tactics for how to engage customers around a seamless brand story in ways that drive engagement and sales.
- How to position your brand for industry leadership through marketing that leverages the new dynamics of the social business marketplace.
What speaking clients are saying
"Simon brings a true and authentic passion for his life’s work to his speaking engagements. His depth of experience and knowledge translates into a meaningful story that can move an audience to action. He is committed to a better outcome for all who engage in the collective conversation and is dedicated to help others find greater success along the way. Simon knows how to engage a room to shift perspective and drive new thinking that can help us tell our brand stories in a way that has real impact on our customers & community."
"If your company is interested in keeping ahead of the new wave of customer engagement that is now powered by the new tools of social media – and who isn’t? – you should have Simon Mainwaring to show you how to do it."
"Simon’s thought-provoking and energizing opening keynote at our Annual Conference truly set the tone for the entire conference. Not only did he provide a plethora of useful information for our audience, but he delivered it in an engaging and relatable way. In fact, he was one of the highest rated speakers of the entire conference.
"Simon excited and engaged our audience by communicating essential information supported by thoughtful data and real world examples. His diligent preparation ensured that our audience learned something new that they could immediately incorporate into their own businesses. He was incredibly accessible and available and took time to get to know us and our needs. I would hire him again in a heartbeat."
"Simon was a wonderful speaker as part of our internal sustainability speaker series on the role of sustainability and brand. His presentation hit the mark and inspired many great conversations and new approaches to 3M's sustainability communications."
"I was so impressed not only because of Simon’s power to engage the audience, but also in the way he connects our minds and souls. His vision and presentation have challenged, inspired and motivated everyone in the room. As a conference organizer I could not recommend Simon more highly as a keynote speaker."
"As the opening Keynote on Day One this is the most important session as it sets the tone for the rest of the event. I could not be happier! He was not only engaging and educational but entertaining. I would not only highly recommend Simon but intend on working with him again."
"Simon’s passion, energy and wisdom came across strongly. He left this audience motivated and contemplative as noted here in a few of the many positive comments received—“Mind blowing session!” “A highly energetic presentation!” “Really enjoyed Simon!"
"We recently invited Simon to speak to our marketing, communications and agency partners. His deep brand experience and social media insight made him an incredible speaker. He kept the group engaged in the conversation. Like all good storytellers, there are memorable lessons wrapped in interesting examples."
"Simon brings an unusual depth of knowledge about how we got ourselves in to the mess that we are currently trying to unravel in society, and a compelling vision for how we can get ourselves out. But more than that, he’s a fabulous storyteller who can paint a picture that will spark the imagination of audience members and enroll them in finding their own path to contributing to a flourishing future. Highly recommend!"
"Simon set the tone for the whole event by instantly engaging and inspiring our audience of almost 2000 studio and network executives. Through a great mix of fresh insights and engaging humor he lit up the room and our social media channels. He has one of the most highly rated sessions and I highly recommend him as a "go to" speaker when you want your event to be a hit!"
"He was extremely engaging, thought provoking and distilled complex ideas down into simple but powerful communications. The participants left inspired with clear insights into how to relate he shared to their business. I would highly recommend him as a transformative keynote speaker."
"Simon gave a rousing keynote at our Social Enterprise Summit. His Me-To-We message was very timely and well received among our members who are effecting a transformation away from the Greed Economy. And he’s a genuinely committed, enjoyable and engaging fellow to boot."
"Simon is fluent on subjects that most marketers and advertising people have only just started thinking about. He’s got genuinely new things to say on the role of brands, the role of marketing and the role of citizens and consumers in shaping a progressive business agenda. He was brilliant at YouTube’s “Good Work” seminar in Cannes this year. He’s someone who can help you do a power of good."
"Simon Mainwaring was a big hit at Brand Manage Camp. He was a absolute pleasure to work with pre, during and post conference and really went the extra mile to ensure he understood our event, our attendees, and the entire agenda so that he could custom craft a topic and presentation that delivered the actionable insights our attendees crave. Simon is that rare package of sizzle AND steak and I would recommend him highly to anyone considering him for participation in their event."
"What can I say? Simon’s presentation was engaging, thought-provoking and amazing. He ended the LMA-LA CME on high note, inspiring attendees as they headed into the weekend."
"Simon delivered a tour-de-force presentation at our event. Speaking with authority, ease and humor, he drilled home the central importance of story-telling in building your brand. Bringing his principles to life with vivid and impactful examples from his many years in the social media trenches, Simon left no doubt as to why so many A-list companies have sought his counsel. We were lucky to have him."
"We host more than 100 speakers a year, and Simon is among the best. He’s informative, stimulating, and engaging. Each person in the audience is exposed to new and big ideas, and is more importantly moved to act. His message is great for competitors, innovators, and do-gooders in the marketplace and the world."
"Simon just doesn’t come in content to talk and shake a few hands. Instead, he brings a full arsenal of smart concepts, compelling presentations, and a full-on, no-holds-barred generosity that is as authentic as it comes. He captured the hearts and minds of our students and faculty with insights on social media, creativity in a changing profession, and the new agency mindset that honors bravery and innovation. Wonderful to witness. Bravo, Simon! "
"Simon enthralled and inspired our Australian audience during his workshop on ‘How non-profits think like for Profits,’ at ConnectNow in Sydney. I have never seen an event with satisfaction scores so uniformly high. From government and corporate groups, to rowdy social mediarati, agencies, charities, bloggers and SMEs, Simon has the gift of making complex stories concise and memorable, and delivers with energy, humor and insight. Forget about the ‘guru’ tag, Simon is the consummate communicator embracing social media and innovation and putting it to best practice. I look forward to having Simon back as keynote speaker at our next event."
"From the moment he began, Simon’s energy, passion, and vision were evident to everyone. Comments came pouring in after the conference and included: “I was riveted by Simon’s speech and I’m so excited to put social media marketing to work”; “…it was by far one of the best social media for social good talks I’ve heard."
"We had the pleasure of having Simon speak at our company retreat this year. He’s gutsy, punchy and highly engaging. His passion for helping corporations determine and maximize their social purpose is infectious! Our whole team is very excited to work with Simon and help our clients build sustainable, meaningful communities that not only build brands but do good things for our world. Many thanks, Simon!"
"We had a fantastic/productive two days of thought provoking ideas and discussion with our 30 member clubs and Simon's presentation played a big part and was incredibly well received. He was on point and did a wonderful job providing our teams a macro view of a changing media landscape/social mission based branding at the same time blending in our business to make it very tangible. We received very positive feedback from the attendees and from what I witnessed simon experienced some of that directly post his presentation."
"It takes a strong message to catch the attention of our customers, who are some of the most dynamic innovators and practitioners of digital strategy, marketing and media. Simon succeeded admirably, bringing the passion of his vision of "We First" capitalism to engaging and capturing the loyalty and attention of new customer who have expectations about what the organizations and brands in his/her life can do for them - on their time and terms. Simon went right to the heart of the matter in his keynote at our first customer conference, Engage 2014, and left all of us looking for more of his wisdom and insights."
Our training ensures companies know how to integrate their purposeful brand story across leadership, marketing, and company cultures, and to transform employees into brand advocates that use social technologies to share that story and scale social impact.
We First provides three distinct workshops to address challenges specific to different stages of your growth and social branding expertise:
Every brand has a social purpose that sits at the heart of their heritage, products and vision of their future. You just need to define it in a simple, compelling, and emotional terms that are innately sharable so that employees and consumers want to amplify your story. This workshop is specifically designed to do that for you.
We achieve these outcomes through three phases of work:
- Brand Discovery: We explore the heritage of the brand, the competitive landscape, and interview key stakeholders.
- Brand Definition: We identify the shared values, social purpose, and vision of the brand.
- Story Framing: We lead a process of distilling the social purpose into a story framed in community-facing terms.
- Clear articulation of your brand’s Social Purpose as a compass for social marketing and a competitive advantage.
- Proprietary articulation of your brand’s Mission, Values, and Vision for internal and external messaging.
- Roadmap for how to bring this story to life through social media across the web and smart phones.
Alignment between your internal culture and external communications is critical to company growth. It also ensure you mitigate the risk of consumer activism and inspire employees and customers to amplify your story. This workshop shows you how to achieve this.
We achieve these outcomes through three phases of work:
- Internal Obstacles: We identify mindset or operational limitations and how to overcome them to allow for story integration.
- External Opportunities: We identify and rationalize the good work the company is doing and how to share that through social marketing.
- Aligned activation: We lead a process of brainstorming how to activate your unique story inside and outside the company to achieve measurable impact.
- Clear identification of internal storytelling obstacles and strategies for how to overcome them to create alignment across the company culture.
- Identification of missed marketing opportunities and how to capitalize on them to build the brand’s reputation, employee productivity, and sales.
- Strategies and tactics for how to tell your brand’s story in ways that create measurable bottom line value and social impact.
In a marketplace defined by compounding social crises, fast changing social technologies, and rising consumer activism, brands must think beyond advertising to lead cultural conversations. This requires a unique combination of strategic storytelling, social technology expertise, and community architecture. This workshop gives you these skills.
We achieve these outcomes through three phases of work:
- Story Alignment: We identify how to align purposeful initiatives across your corporate communications, sustainability, and Foundation efforts.
- Community Architecture: We outline specific strategies and tactics to provide short-term impact and long-term reputation benefits.
- Cultural Leadership: We show you how to define, frame and lead a cultural conversation that will build your business.
- Alignment of company-wide social impact efforts in service of a single and purposeful brand story.
- Roadmap for how to architect a community to maximize marketing spend efficiency and enjoy short and long term bottom line benefits.
- Clear articulation of a leadership position within a cultural conversation that will build the company’s reputation and establish a competitive advantage.
Brand Leadership Summit
The We First Brand Leadership Summit is the premiere event for purpose-driven social branding. It’s a 2-day, hands-on training event where every attendee works through an 80-page Social Branding Blueprint to ensure they leave with real value, specific to their business, in their hands.
The Summit is focused on the intersection between corporate purpose and social storytelling. The theme for the 2015 summit is “ Accelerating Purpose Integration, Amplification and Impact.”
Visit the Summit website to see the world-class speakers, training schedule, and fantastic venue for the 2015 event at the W Hotel Hollywood on October 6-7th.
What Summit attendees are saying
"What continues to amaze me about a We First event is theincredibly rich content that is provided. We First synthesizes and then programatizes all the best data and best thinking concerning how brands are evolving. This means each attendee walks away with a wealth of knowledge organized into a coherent how-to manual for pioneering their brands beyond what’s known and into the realm of what can be."
"We First is the best event to attend to see where purpose-driven brands, digital innovation and cause marketing can unite to transform business. Brilliant attendees, hands-on tactical training and insightful keynotes combine to leave attendees with skills they can use immediately as well as inspiration to drive change within their organization. Attend if you want to learn where the market is heading and get the skills to get there before your competition."
"It provided a framework and a way to think about branding and telling our story in a very cohesive and linear way. What you find here are trends, data, information- all those things that leaders of your company are asking you for that you don’t necessarily know how to aggregate it all- that’s what I found here"
"I think a lot of businesses don't have their brand well defined so then they don’t have their story built behind the brand. Simon has helped us do is to come up with that brand, build a story around the brand, and then you have something you can go out and tell to your community and stakeholders."
"Thanks again for inviting me to participate in your fantastic seminar.
I took away a lot more than I gave at this event, which is often a rarity. Thanks again for your vision and practical takeaways from your significant experience with the brands/campaigns we all love."
"We First seminar is an eye opener for marketers on the importance of integrating sustainability at the core of their brands to increase relevance and meaning and drive a competitive advantage in their respective categories. Physical and emotional benefits are not enough anymore to drive long term loyalty of our current and potential consumers and societal impact and everyday meaningful difference in peoples and community life's are the new source of competitive advantage We first seminar provides the guidance on how to go about this challenge and brings the best thinking people and industry cases to the table to drive that change in our respective organizations."
"Thank you for the most amazing experience last week at the We First conference! The blueprint is incredible and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to meet so many like-minded and inspirational people."
"We are witnessing a great shift in the realm of corporate giving. There is real opportunity for all parties to benefit in a meaningful way. The We First conference is one of the very few of its kind that explains this new landscape and how best to take advantage of it."
"It was great to learn so much more about the subject of Sustainability and how technology is playing such a huge role in changing how consumers have become so much more in control of our marketing agenda in ways we could never have imagined 10 years ago. I also found the course work to be both interesting yet very practical at the same time in a way that really helped provoke some fresh thinking."
"We brought a team of key stakeholders to the We First Summit and it exceeded everyone's expectations by a long shot. Those who attended left inspired and resolved to reframe our mission so it better shines a light on the good we put into the world and how we can shape our culture in positive ways."
"The We First Summit was a fantastic experience in which bleeding edge thinking was made actionable by Simon and his team. The future of brands is definitely Social and We First is leading the way in helping to get there faster. Humanity and Business will be better for it.
"We First recognizes that for leading brands it’s more than knowing how to use social media to build engagement with millennials and the even younger emerging generations, but it’s about how to use those tools so brands can be actual agents of social change. That’s what young people now expect, that’s what the leading brands understand, and that’s what Simon and We First are skilled at showing how you do it.
"We First is the chance to connect with people that recognize the great power of a powerful brand and powerful global issues. We at the United Nations Foundation love to being a part of this community because it's so much more than a seminar.
"I was really inspired by the focus and passion around culture, We First vs. ME first, and experience the thought leadership that's been here at the conference. For anyone are interested in learning to make more of a social and create a viral impact in your space - definitely this is the place to be.